Sunday, 29 December 2013

Our Top 5 Marriage Proposal Ideas

New Year is famously one of the most popular times for marriage proposals.  So if you're thinking of popping the question this year, we've surveyed our team to come up with our ultimate proposal top 5.

Our Top 5 Marriage Proposal Ideas at Holdsworth House
  1. Spell out ‘Marry Me?’ on our lawn with rose petals. Then from the first floor private dining room window let your loved one see it for themselves
  2. Lead your partner up the steps and inside the historic stone built Gazebo, set with beautiful tea lights and a bottle of Champagne, then sink to one knee for the big question
  3. Take a bowl of marshmallows to toast on the open fireplace in our Courtyard, hide the engagement ring under the sweets
  4. Take a stroll to the beautiful love seat in the gardens, or beneath the decorative gazebo, and deliver your rehearsed lines
  5. Ask our chef to serve your partner’s engagement ring under a silver dome tray with dessert after your meal
We love a marriage proposal here, we're old romantics at heart. Although many Romeos like to do it their own unique way, if you're stumped for proposal ideas, you could opt for our romantic off the shelf (no pun intended) Ultimate Marriage Proposal Package.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Wedding Makeup Tips from Last Tango in Halifax Makeup Artist

Ladies, getting your makeup right any day of the week can be bad enough, but when it's your wedding day you certainly want to make sure you're looking your best.

We checked in with Last Tango in Halifax makeup artist Jessica Taylor (pictured with actress Anne Reid), to find out what it takes to get award-winning, on screen make up spot on. We were lucky enough to meet Jessica when she worked on the Last Tango in Halifax filming, which took place at Holdsworth House Hotel and Restaurant in September 2013.

Of course anyone familiar with Last Tango in Halifax will know that Alan and Celia tied the knot, not once but twice, in series two - that's some going! Holdsworth House was fortunate to be featured several times in the show since the creator, Sally Wainwright, selected the hotel on which to base many of the key scenes. So whilst the crew were around we managed to nab 10 minutes with Jessica to gleam some great tips on wedding day makeup and how she made up gorgeous bride Celia (played by Anne Reid).

HH: What makeup tips do you have for brides on their wedding day?

JT: Never go for anything too different to how you normally look, you need to feel comfortable. In the weeks before your wedding take extra special care of your skin, don't be tempted to try out new creams that promise eternal youth!! You could have a reaction to them, stick to what you know. Good quality products do have better ingredients but it's not necessary to spend a fortune.

Using a primer underneath your foundation helps to give it staying power, I like Smashbox makeup primer. Use a waterproof mascara and keep some powder and your favourite lipstick with you to touch up during the day.

HH: Any specific tips for mature brides?

JT: Maturer skin doesn't necessarily need more makeup, it's better to keep your make up lightweight because if the foundation is too heavy it can sit in fine lines and can look a bit cakey.

Matte eyeshadows always work best on older skin, shimmery/glittery eyeshadows are definitely a no no, they can make eyes look older. Bobbi Brown matte eyeshadows are great and they do a good range of colours, they are easy to apply and the pigment is good. Worth paying extra for.

A lip liner is always good to help accentuate the shape of your lips, MAC do a great pencil, spice, which suits all skin types and is soft and easy to apply.

If you are dark under your eyes use a good highlighter such as Christian Dior Skin Flash, use only on the dark areas don't be tempted to paint under the whole of your under eye area as this will accentuate any puffy areas. Don't be tempted to go for things like long false eyelashes. A good shaped eyebrow really helps frame the eyes; it's worth getting eyebrows professionally shaped ahead of the day.

HH: What are the makeup trends for 2014?

JT: Glamour is making a big comeback, gone are the 'natural' makeup looks. Strong eyeshadows with a good socket line are good on anyone.

Eyebrows, eyebrows, eyebrows are the big thing for 2014, but be careful not to go too over the top with them.

Manicured pointy nails are everywhere now, forget the old fashioned square shape of the last few years.

Big and bouncy hair is very on trend but of course, as always classic hair up styles are always perfect for weddings.

HH: How does the work you do for television differ from other makeup?

JT: Makeup for TV and film must be applied with precision and it's essential not to over powder, especially now with high definition TV which is very unforgiving, the slightest mistake will show up. In TV we are always creating a character and I like to make sure the characters look real, I don't like everyone to be too perfect. I have worked on many period dramas and in reality in 1890 your average girl wouldn't have worn makeup so mostly we are creating a 'no makeup' look, which involves covering any blemishes, accentuating good features without the viewer noticing there is any makeup on the actress. It's all about creating an illusion.

HH: What other shows have you worked on or are you planning to work on going forward?

JT: I have had a very varied career, I trained at Granada TV in Manchester and worked on programmes such as Coronation Street, Prime Suspect, Band of Gold, Moll Flanders. Since being freelance I have designed many shows including Cutting It (for which I won a Royal Television Award for best makeup design), Life On Mars, Cracker, The Village.

I am about to start filming a new series by Sally Wainwright called Happy Valley which will be filmed around Halifax and Hebden Bridge.

Many thanks to Jessica Taylor for these top makeup tips. Good luck for the Happy Valley series with Red Production and the newly commissioned Last Tango in Halifax series 3.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Last Tango in Halifax - The Wedding

So the secret is out, Alan and Celia are getting married and the gorgeous hotel chosen just happens to be... ahem... Holdsworth House in Halifax.

Hooray for writer Sally Wainwright for insisting as many scenes as possible were filmed in her native Halifax and hooray for Red Production Company for finding the right spots across Calderdale to do justice to Sally's brilliant imagination.

As the top independent hotel in Halifax, something like Last Tango certainly helps to put us on the global map. We've already welcomed guests from Scandinavia , where Last Tango is really popular. We've even had people enquiring about where to buy the fabric on our dining chairs (featured in episode 5).

A Romantic Weekend and A Wedding Venue

Episode 4 of Last Tango in Halifax showed Caroline and Kate escaping for a romantic weekend (also based on and filmed at Holdsworth House). The drama certainly unfolded and the weekend turned into a disaster for the less than romantic couple. At least Caroline thought Holdsworth House would be 'a good place for a wedding' in episode 5. Alan and Celia thought so too and booked the venue for Christmas Eve - so romantic.

The hotel's Last Tango in Halifax debut came when we saw Caroline and Kate arrive for their break and make their way down towards the manor's 380 year old entrance.

The next day's breakfast was filmed in our Mullioned Room (pictured left) where breakfast is really served to our hotel guests. It's a popular room for afternoon tea and dinner in Halifax too as it looks out over the landscaped gardens.

Pray Silence for the Filming

The filming took place in September 2013 and our team at the hotel remembers the week well. Throughout filming office phones had to be silenced, chairs on wheels were banned and office banter was stalled to ensure that no sounds were picked up on the microphones and no creaky floors creaked at the wrong moment in the offices above where filming took place.  We're quite used to this - we host many marriage ceremonies in the historic Hall so the team is well-rehearsed in being silent as important marriage vows are being made.

Kit and Caboodle

Holdsworth House has beautiful leaded mullion windows, historic beamed ceilings and large stone fireplaces giving it warm and cosy atmosphere. So not only did the film crew bring along their super high tech camera kit, we saw a temporary new cream carpet laid in the restaurant to help reflect the light upwards. Hey - whatever helps!!

We were pleased that the location team wanted to use Holdsworth House's restaurant food on screen. Plus we were delighted to have our actual wedding folders used by the wedding coordinator character.

Many people have asked if the wedding coordinator and the waiters were members of our team - no, they were all bona fide actors, although we're sure our team could have pulled off the roles perfectly too!

The Final Episode

What will the last episode bring? Well as Alan and Celia tie the knot on Christmas Eve we look forward to a few more key scenes from Holdsworth House being shown. We don't want to give anything away yet. But by 'eck, its a belter!

Huge thanks go to the production company and producer Karen Lewis for believing our team would handle the filming week professionally and without hitch. Of course we thank the brilliant Sally Wainwright, on behalf of the UK, for giving us all such a wonderful glued-to-the-set series of laughter and (a touch of) sadness. But most of all for showing the real Yorkshire, its glorious scenery and for highlighting the funny quirks that give us Yorkshire folk our uniqueness. Yes we suppose many of us really do speak like that and drink that much tea!!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Recommended by the Mail on Sunday

Following the success of BAFTA-winning Last Tango in Halifax, the Mail on Sunday sent journalist Bridget McGrouther to Holdsworth House in Halifax - where several scenes for series two were filmed - to see what all the fuss was about.

Here's what she said: "My husband Simon and I jumped at the chance of a romantic rendezvous at the award-winning hotel with its cosy bedrooms - ours even had a luxurious four-poster bed.

Elegant: Bridget at Holdsworth House, which was home to the Last Tango cast and crew in September
Elegant: Bridget at Holdsworth House, which was home to the
Last Tango cast and crew in September
Dinner in a secluded corner by the stone-mullioned windows of the atmospheric restaurant with two AA Rosettes was sensational - seared king scallops with tangy sea herbs, the most tender, locally sourced steak and tasty venison as well as decadent desserts.

We enjoyed after-dinner coffees in the 'old hall', sitting by the inviting inglenook fireplace just like I imagine Alan and Celia did. In such idyllic surroundings, no wonder the romance of Last Tango's mature couple - former teenage sweethearts - was rekindled."

Read the full article online here >>

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

12 Christmassy Reasons to Book a Festive Celebration

Why wait for a partridge in a pear tree? Here are 12 top reasons to book a traditional Christmas at Holdsworth House.

1. Stepping in the footsteps of Last Tango in Halifax actors around the beautiful tranquil gardens after an exquisite lunch, breathing in the crisp air, drinking in the historic facade and discovering what the winter borders have in store.

2. Watching the robins dance across the frosted lawns. Feeding carrots to the shires in our paddocks and hearing the winter birdsong fill the courtyard.

3. Enjoying a hot toddy beside the outdoor fireplace in the Colonnade Courtyard. Warming legs, hands or bottoms to the good cheer and banter of friends.

4. Stepping in from the wintery scene to welcoming, warming open fires and smelling the scent of Christmas logs burning
5. Having a 'this is the life' moment and enjoying being looked after. Raising a glass to good company without having to lift a finger. Relaxing as you see everyone around the table enjoying themselves.

6. Discovering new flavours together as your table tucks into a fit-for-a-king Host a Festive Feast dinners, passionately prepared by chefs who love food and winning awards

7. Browsing down the gin menu in the Long Bar or choosing your favourite from our incredible wine list, carefully crafted by our Master of Wine 
8. Reminiscing of Christmases past as the Friendly Brass Band's nostalgic music drifts in and out of your consciousness. Call us to find out what December dates they are playing.
9. Watching the night draw in through the ancient mullioned windows as we soften the lights and serve you the most divine desserts, coffees and liqueurs.
10. Being part of young loves' dream if you're lucky enough to witness a Christmas or New Year marriage proposal, as we have before.
11. Hearing the laughter of like-minded revellers fill the halls as merriment reigns with quality local food and fine wines.

12. Sloping off to your uber-comfy bed for what could be the most wonderful night's sleep you've had in a long time. It's a big statement but so often the case with our beds.
If you want to celebrate a special Christmas and New Year somewhere unique download our Christmas brochure today. Or call 01422 240024 or visit

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Yorkshire Top of the Polls

As members of the British Hospitality Association we attended their Destination Marketing conference in October at fellow member venue The Devonshire Arms.

We were delighted to learn from Visit England that Yorkshire is well above the national average for providing complete customers satisfaction.

Visit England regularly polls the public to find out their travel plans, where they've holidayed and what influences their decision on where to go.

The recent 2013 poll showed that Yorkshire beat the national average in the following criteria:

Welcoming and friendly
Value for money
Level of customer service
Quality of accommodation
Quality of food, drink and dining
Accesibility: Places don't take long to get to
The only area people said we could improve on was offering more sporting or cultural events. So GOOD NEWS... soon you can enjoy world class events with all the above included! All eyes will be on Yorkshire for the 2013 Rugby World Cup in two weeks and the 2014 Tour De France Grand Depart. So if you're looking for hotels in Yorkshire, book now at Holdsworth House.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Recommended in The Guardian

CalderdaleWinter sunshine on Calderdale. Photograph: Alamy
Holdsworth House made the national press on Saturday 28th September 2013.
"The Calderdale Way, West Yorkshire
The Calderdale Way is a 50-mile circular walking route around West Yorkshire, offering every type of view: windswept Brontë moorland, meandering canal towpaths and autumnal woodland, plus some of Yorkshire's best little towns, with great names like Lumbutts and Mankinholes. It's champion. Enjoy a good Yorkshire cream tea en route, such as the one at Holdsworth House) in Halifax."  

Last Tango in Halifax - filming of series 2

Photographs by Kyte Photography
Courtesy of Red Production Company
Holdsworth House has seen its share of celebrity guests over 50 years. Now the Jacobean manor is crowning its Jubilee year by gracing the small screen in the second series of the BAFTA-winning Last Tango in Halifax.

Holdsworth House features in the final three episodes of Last Tango in Halifax, see more here, where Caroline and Kate head off for a romantic break in Halifax at Holdsworth House.

Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid once again lead the cast in the second romantic drama series made by Red Production Company for BBC One. Written by Halifax born Sally Wainwright the first series won Best Drama Series at the 2013 BAFTAs.

"Alan Buttershaw (Jacobi) and Celia Dawson (Reid) are both widowed and in their 70s. When their grandsons put them on Facebook, they rediscover feelings for one another that are just as intense and beautiful now as they were 60 years ago when they were teenagers. The story of their relationship is a celebration of the uplifting power of love at any age. But this is also a story about family, and it’s just as dark as it is comic. Both Alan and Celia’s family come with baggage." (Red Production)

In September 2013 Holdsworth House welcomed headline cast members to its historic halls, including Sarah Lancashire who plays Celia’s arrogant and ultra-respectable daughter Caroline, Nina Sosanya (who plays Kate), Nicola Walker (Gillian) and the wonderful Anne Reid (Celia). The hotel was written into the script by Sally Wainwright following location visits from the series’ along with the series producer Karen Lewis.

In addition to hosting the actors, crew and set designers Holdsworth House had four weddings to direct. 

General manager Richard Christie said, “We were delighted to welcome the cast and crew of Last Tango during one of our busiest periods. As a popular wedding venue it is essential that every event runs smoothly so there was a lot of careful planning on our part to ensure our film crew and special brides and grooms were well looked after.”

Gail Moss co-owner of Holdsworth House said, “I am so thrilled that our former family home has made it into the script of such a brilliant TV drama series. I am very proud to have a small connection to such a popular and successful show and I can’t wait to see it on screen.”

Since the first series aired in 2012 Holdsworth House has been helping to give tourists a real taste of Yorkshire with their Last Tango Break. To mirror content from the show’s first series, the hotel’s break includes a frappuccino with homemade scone on arrival, a three-course evening dinner and overnight in a large House double room.

As Yorkshire recently won Europe’s Leading Destination 2013 award at the World Travel Awards, the team at Holdsworth House sees its role as ambassadors for the county as ever more important. “Scooping the Last Tango in Halifax filming will help give a boost to our role in driving tourism to Yorkshire”, said Holdsworth House marketing manager Liz Howe. The team is also targeting the American market for tourism trade since the airing of series one last week resulted in great reviews from the New York Times.

Holdsworth House’s Last Tango Break is from £185 per couple and bookable online at

Yorkshire Wins Europe's Leading Destination Award

Yorkshire has beaten Berlin, London and Madrid to win the title of Europe's Leading Destination in 2013. The prize was awarded at the World Travel Awards in Antalya, Turkey, which are described by organisers as the "Oscars of the travel industry". Yorkshire is the first location other than a major city or country to have won the Leading Destination title in the 17-year history of the awards.

Being one of the most popular hotels in Yorkshire of course the world is our oyster!

In the 2013 Michelin Guide

Halifax’s top hotel has made it into the prestigious 2013 Michelin Guide, which lists the top 1700 hotels and restaurants in the UK. Independently assessed by Michelin inspectors, appearance in the guide is by invitation only following recommendations to Michelin by previous guests. Of course we're thrilled here at Holdsworth House!

Jamie Oliver Cooks Up A Storm

Halifax hotel Holdsworth House was thrilled when TV superchef Jamie Oliver visited to film for his book and Channel 4 series ‘Jamie’s Great Britain’.  Culinary king Jamie and his 22 strong crew spent five nights at West Yorkshire’s leading hotel in 2011 and happily the sun shone all week long, showing Yorkshire at its beautiful best.

Watch the show here

John and Ringo Slept in My 1964

It may be half a century since the Fab Four checked in at Holdsworth House but the event remains just as memorable today as back then.
Between 1963 and 1965, The Beatles undertook six amazing UK tours and among the fans was Gail Moss, co-owner of Holdsworth House. The day The Beatles came to stay is an occasion that Gail will never forget. The beautiful old Yorkshire manor house hotel was owned by Gail’s late parents Freddie and Rita Pearson and was formerly known as The Cavalier Country Club. The Pearsons’ good family friend just happened to be Stanley Corbett, the Beatles’ road manager.
“They had been playing at the Gaumont Theatre in Bradford and they needed a place to stay,” recalls Gail, who was 14 at the time. “My father told me a couple of days before they arrived that they were coming and I think it was probably the hardest secret I have ever had to keep,” she laughs.
The night in question was Friday, October 9, 1964 – John Lennon’s 24th birthday – and Gail recalls how it was around 11pm when the four Liverpool lads arrived after a bit of a diversion and the help of a police escort to keep their destination a secret – a plan that worked.
The original restaurant bill reveals that they tucked into prawn cocktail, melon, smoked trout and turtle soup, followed by steaks and duckling. Including the chauffeur’s dinner, the entire bill came to £17 6s (£17.30) – more than a week’s wages at the time.  The bar bill, including whiskies, stouts and pints of Whitbread, came to £2 15s (£2.75) but it was only Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr who unwound in the bar until 1am – John Lennon had a toothache and went to bed early.
Because the business was just a country club and not a hotel, the Pearsons had to find beds for their visitors. “They actually ended up using ours.” says Gail. “John and Ringo slept in what was mine and my sister’s room and Paul and George slept in my parents’ bedroom. I remember we had set up for them to have breakfast the following morning and they didn’t come down. I was walking up and down the corridor waiting. Eventually my mother grabbed me by the hand, knocked on the bedroom door where Paul and George were sleeping and pushed me inside saying ‘My daughter has been waiting all morning to see you’ she said and left me there. I don’t know how she dared.”
Gail adds that George offered her a cigarette “which I refused” and asked if the old house was haunted. We’d been to Ibiza on holiday and I was chatting to Paul about that.
Kim Pearson, Gail’s sister was just eight at the time and admits the visit was “a little over my head”. “I was very shy and remember not wanting to meet them so I hid in the ladies’ cloakroom under a dressing table. All of a sudden this hand came through the curtains, a hand with rings on practically every finger. It was Ringo and he just said ‘come out and meet the lads’.”
Because it had been Lennon’s birthday the girls gave him a Cavalier Country Club tie. “I don’t know if he ever wore it but he did remember the visit because he sent us a copy of his book In His Own Write.
Once news of the visit became public, the Pearson family was inundated with requests for souvenirs. “We still have the brass bedsteads which were on the beds they slept in and at one time the little gold knobs on the top used to disappear from time to time,” says Gail. 

Written by Virginia Mason for The Halifax Courier.

Friday, 21 June 2013

The Way We Used To Live

Pictures of Holdsworth House going back over the last 50 years. For more images of the hotels today visit our website gallery.

Left: The elegant Rita Pearson. This picture appeared in the national papers when the hotel was purchased by the Pearsons.

Left: Current owner Gail Moss (nee Pearson) follows in her mother's footsteps in hosting fine parties & events at Holdsworth House.

The charismatic host: Freddie Pearson outside Holdsworth House. The hotel exterior hasn't changed much!

A 1970s wedding in the Stuart Room before it had its pillars removed.

The Stuart Room in 2013. Clean, crisp and ready for any wedding colour scheme you can think of.

The former bar, which is now the Mullioned Restaurant.

The former bar today - used for weddings, restaurant diners and afternoon tea.
A bedroom in the 1970s. Groovy patterns!
The orignal reception area, now the corridor to the bedrooms adjacent to the Abraham Brigg Room.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Golden Anniversary

We had a ball last Thursday, almost literally when we celebrated the hotel's 50 Golden Years!

Holdsworth House was opened on April 11th 1963 by Rita and Freddie Pearson. The couple, who had no experience of running a hotel,  opened The Cavalier Country Club as a private members club which quickly became the place to be seen for socialising, eating, drinking and gambling.

In 1979 the property was handed to the Pearsons’ daughters Gail Moss and Kim Pearson and reverted to its former name Holdsworth House. The hotel has continued to grow from strength to strength under their watchful eye and now boasts 2 AA Rosettes for the food and 4 stars, the only AA four star hotel in Halifax.

Following the deaths of Rita and Freddie, the hotel has remained under family management and on June 13th 2013 Gail and Kim hosted a celebration evening to mark the hotel’s 50th anniversary. Guests included customers and local business leaders, council officials and suppliers – many of whom are local and have been  working with the hotel for over 20 years. 

Gail Moss said ‘The event was to celebrate 50 years of being one of Yorkshire’s top hotels. We work hard to stay innovative and give Halifax the hotel it deserves. Holdsworth House is a popular wedding venue and in 2012 we hosted 167 weddings, which was down to hard work and our brilliant team. Although we have an historic building we can’t stand still – we’re very active on social media sites and we’re doing lots to bring tourists into Halifax from outside Yorkshire through promotions and deals.’

Guests at last Thursday’s event were treated to an array of cocktails including pink Prosecco with crystalised rose petals and a cheeky raspberry vodka cocktail served from our eclectic mix of bone china teacup and saucer sets.

In a heartfelt speech Gail and Kim reminisced about the past fifty years, including when The Beatles came to stay.  Gail thanked the team for their loyalty and commitment to customer service and a long service award was presented to semi-retired accountant Robert Woodhead, whom Gail described as ‘business advisor and true family friend who has worked with Holdsworth House for over 40 years.’ Guests also heard about plans for the barn which stands within the hotel grounds and which is in need of restoration; the team is currently researching best uses for it and an additional wedding venue or function space is being considered.

Roger Harvey OBE, owner of Halifax's premier department store, who attended the event said after the evening ‘Sue and I would like to thank you for a splendid evening to celebrate 50 glorious years of Holdsworth House. We thoroughly enjoyed the evening and both remarked about the friendliness and professionalism of your staff.  The food was superb, so another big thank you to your head chef and all the catering team. As a business which celebrated 60 years trading in Halifax in 2011, we know it isn't easy, but sticking to core values and putting our customers first has kept us both in business, when others have failed. Good luck for the next 50 years.’

Pictures courtesy of

Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence

Love or hate Tripadvisor, there's one thing for sure many people who want to try somewhere for the first time use it like a crystal ball... how good will my experience really be?

Of course Tripadvisor is open to abuse. TV documentaries have shown how some unscrupulous hoteliers 'big up' their own hotels whilst putting false reviews of competitors TUT TUT. How hotels expect to get a good reputation if they're so focused on themselves rather than the customer is beyond us.

There's always room for improvement and the customer paying the bill has every right to say how they think hoteliers can do it better, whether they do that in the public domain or not is not always something a hotel can manage. Customers expectations and benchmarks vary wildly; what's fantastic for one is second rate for another. With little or no opportunity for hoteliers to respond, without looking like a whinging pom, a hotel's online reputation is a pathway that can be paved with gold or can drop into an abyss in a flash. We say always aim for the highest common denominator and treat every guest like a king!

It's this policy that has won Holdsworth House another Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence for the third year running. For us this means not only do we aim to give everyone good service, but that we acknowledge that we're always learning and we're always trying our best. Occasionally things do go wrong, but it's rare and the customer can be assured we'll always go out of our way to make it right.  We're not afraid of Tripadvisor, we embrace it, so we're already looking forward to a Certificate of Excellence 2014!

Friday, 26 April 2013

A Very Vintage Affair

In spring 1963 Holdsworth House Hotel in Halifax, West Yorkshire, opened its doors to the public for the very first time. Having remained hidden away as a private residence for over 380 years, the plush hotel and restaurant proved an instant hit. Fifty glorious years later it remains as fashionable as ever and one of the county’s top wedding venues.

Whilst some things are best left in the 1960s – paisley shirts, peasant tops, bell bottoms and vinyl fabrics – other bits are far too good not to get a second airing or so say designers such as Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren and Victoria Beckham whose retro fashions were a big hit at New York Fashion Week. The trio have all reinterpreted elegant 60s dresses in their spring 2013 collections and it’s not taken the High Street long to follow suit. Mod dresses in silks, chiffons and lace are everywhere.

After seeing a recent spate of retro weddings and party outfits, we teamed up with one of the UK’s youngest vintage entrepreneurs for A Vintage Wedding fashion shoot at the historic hotel to show wedding guests how to perfect the vintage look.

23-year-old Megan Wilson, who owns Purple Rabbit Vintage Shop in Halifax’s magnificent Georgian Piece Hall, says original dresses are flying out of her shop. “We are seeing 60s fashion make a big comeback and lots of women are being creative and hunting out original dresses from that era. They can often pick up a one-off piece for a fraction of the cost of a designer dress today,” says Megan.
Holdsworth House’s owner co-owner Gail Moss is the daughter of the late Freddie and Rita Pearson who opened the hotel in 1963. Gail says, “I have so many of my mother’s original dresses that she wore whilst hosting key figures at the hotel in the 1960s - like The Beatles, The Maharaja of Baroda and Jayne Mansfield. It’s wonderful to see so many of the styles reproduced today, but you can’t beat some of the originals for their quality of finish and fabrics. It’s amazing to see these vintage dresses have now come full circle.”

Of course Halifax has long since played its part in the fashion industry. One of Britain’s top fashion designers in the 60s, Jean Muir, was a regular visitor to Holdsworth House when she was in the area buying cloth.

At Holdsworth House, we're seeing a rise in vintage themed weddings with not only the bride and groom going retro, but guests, the décor and the food as well. Wedding coordinator at Holdsworth House Claire Nicholl says, ”The popularity of vintage style afternoon tea in particular has grown in recent years. We have hosted some beautiful vintage afternoon tea weddings that use an eclectic mix of old bone china crockery, swathes of bunting and the most stunning retro flower designs. Many of our brides love to make their own stationery and table gifts too to match the vintage theme such as homemade jams or handcrafted keepsakes. It’s a theme that that goes down a storm with guests and allows the brides to get creative as well as keeping costs low.”

 Megan Wilson’s Purple Rabbit shop specialises in vintage fashion and accessories from the 1930s to the 1960s – some of which will be on display at Holdsworth House’s A Vintage Wedding Open Day on Sunday 19th May 12noon – 4pm. Tickets are free from

SUMMER WEDDING: Light pink chiffon early 1960s cocktail dress with rose bud and off the shoulder detail, £85.

MINI COUTURE: Turquoise and silver patterned late 1960s mod mini dress, £55. Mod pink and green mini dress with Peter Pan collar, £45; turquoise earrings £8.

AQUA GREEN SERENE: Aqua green silk shift dress with platted edging detail, £55. Turquoise plastic bracelet, £8. Simple 60's turquoise button earrings, £8. Feather hat, £16.

TO HAVE AND TO HOLD: Teal green lace overlay dress with green satin lining, £65; oversize 60s pearls, £15.

For press and media enquiries for Holdsworth House please contact Liz Howe at 07538 238936.